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3 Telltale Signs You May Have Spinal Stenosis

3 Telltale Signs You May Have Spinal Stenosis

Back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world, according to the World Health Organization. While back pain is common, there are many reasons you might have back pain, including osteoarthritis, muscle strains, and herniated discs.

Here at Spine Group Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California, our team diagnoses and treats all types of back pain, but the first step in any rehabilitation plan is to confirm the source of your pain. 

Below, Dr. John Regan focuses on just one example of back pain: spinal stenosis. Read on as he explains what spinal stenosis is and the three telltale signs that you may have it.

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis develops when the spaces inside your spine narrow. As your spinal canal becomes narrower, it can put pressure on your nerves. Spinal stenosis can occur in any part of your spine, but it’s most common in your lower spine. This is referred to as lumbar spinal stenosis.

Spinal stenosis can develop as a result of thickened ligaments, spinal injuries, herniated discs, bone spurs, degenerative disc disease, and, in rare cases, tumors. 

3 telltale signs you have spinal stenosis

You might not have any symptoms at first, but as the condition progresses, your symptoms are likely to get worse over time. The warning signs include:

1. You have nerve pain that runs through your legs or your arms

When your nerves are compressed, it can cause:

The location of your stenosis determines where you feel these symptoms. Cervical (neck) spinal stenosis can cause pain in your hands and arms, while lumbar spinal stenosis can contribute to sciatica symptoms that run through your buttocks and down your leg.

2. Your pain is accompanied by numbness and weakness

Spinal stenosis doesn’t just cause pain; it can also cause serious complications like numbness and weakness. This can make it hard to pick items up with your hands, increase the risk of dropping items, and increase your risk of trips, falls, and other balance issues.

The combination of pain and numbness can seriously impact your quality of life. In the most severe cases, you may even experience bladder or bowel incontinence.

3. Leaning forward makes the pain go away

If you have lumbar spinal stenosis, you might feel relief by leaning forward. That’s because leaning forward opens up the space in your spinal canal and relieves some of the pressure on your constricted nerves. However, as soon as you straighten your back, the pain and discomfort return. This can make even walking short distances painful and difficult.

Explore your spinal stenosis treatment options

After Dr. Regan confirms that spinal stenosis is the source of your symptoms, he reviews all of your treatment options with you. Depending on where your spinal stenosis is located and the severity of your symptoms, you may benefit from:

Don’t let spinal stenosis rule your life any longer. If you spot the telltale signs of spinal stenosis, help is just a call or click away. You can reach the Spine Group Beverly Hills team at 424-238-3281. Or, simply use our online form to make an appointment in our Beverly Hills, California, office.

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